January 12, 2007

Manichaean Song

A glass of wine in hand, not going left, not going right,

The middle air, he ceases standing nor not standing up,

A stream of yellow liquid pouring from the drooping pewter cup,

And thru the floor he falls into the earthy hellish night.

America! Drink beer! Get sober! There's a drought a-comin'!

The humble bees are swarming toward the cave of our displeasure:

It's justice, karma, rapture, nothing, whatever, measure for measure!

Or maybe they won't come, or we won't know, or just hear them hummin'.

And is he buried in a box, aware, asphyxiated,

His consciousness upon a hill, a beacon & a dragon,

A Worm of Might, terrible, but terrified of the imminent dawn:

His love is like a rainbow after hours, six dreams created.

Well, things might change, & new utopias approaching slowly–

Our sunken cowboy, alive, drunk on datura & puffer-poisons,

Will rise again, rife for the hanging, peace pending the freemasons–

His sword of virtue on the horizon, to fell his inner canopy.

The Scribe of Pennsylvania! The giant lizard of the deists!

Stentorian organ chords accompany this epic duel,

Tiny boys sport around the vendors, old maids serve refried gruel.

I won five dollars, I had bet on eternal damnation for the atheists.

He stands, then crumbles in again, the theater of the senses,

Then he eats some cheese & some grapes & studies the stars,

His horse is bored, always tied up in the stable with those rusty cars,

A line is drawn, we cross it again, ever weakening our defenses.

And when the fascists outlaw opium & herbal tea,

And execute the leader of the Marxist Opposition,

And Feynman discovers an infinite clock & a train that runs on fission,

And the lobbyists for the lumber trade burn a secret plastic tree,–

Then we will shout & sing, then we become the heroes we forgot,

Or at least we'll write long poems crucially criticizing the core of their policy,

And we'll drink whiskey & discuss Eugene V. Debs, & John Denver's legacy,

And I'll canonize my Great-Great-Grandfather, & all that lot.

O screw the Pope! Let's schism & schism & schism! He'll never know!

We'll convert the savages to our American religion of baffling diversities!

Give honorary doctorates to cartoonists at our universities!

For sure the blue whale will still be mating deeper than we'll ever go.

Both he & we reborn as zombies in a mock-Apocalypse,

Our horses, camels, cars bearing flesh & blood & bread & wine,

Into the cinematic sunset, returning Eastward on a perfect latitudinal line,

And Washington we'll prematurely burn, & darken in a fool's eclipse.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"I won five dollars, I had bet on eternal damnation for the atheists."

Was an easy bet - if (which is probably close to the truth)eternal damnation is eternal separation from God. Suggests that athiests can end their own eternal damnation by just believing in God.